Years ago, when parents thought their kids weren't the type to take drugs, they were probably right. Now there's about a one in five chance they're wrong. What's really fueling prescription drug addiction, and what can we do about it?
Prescription drug addiction is a societal ill - while each individual has their reasons for abusing or becoming addicted to drugs, not much is going to change until taking drugs is no longer accepted as a way of life. Drug companies advertise directly to the consumer on TV, magazines, on the Internet. The ads show people who, basically, aren't happy. Then they take the drug and, voila, their lives change.
People watching the ads go to their family doctor, tell him how they feel (just like the person in the commercial - they don't even need to describe their symptoms really), and tell him that they think they would feel better taking X drug and would like a prescription. And the doctor gives it to them.
There's nothing strange about that, right? It's just like buying Pepsi so you can become part of the Pepsi generation. Well, this is the prescription drug generation. But it's not just affecting the current generation - everyone from kindergarteners to pensioners are taking them. But, unlike Pepsi drinkers, many are also ending up with a prescription drug addiction, and in hospital emergency rooms and morgues. In Florida alone about 8,000 people died last year from prescription drugs. And that's just the ones who were autopsied.
As a parent, and a spouse, and a friend, the way you can protect your loved ones is to teach them the truth: That prescription drug addiction can be a consequence, that further consequences can include ruins lives, shattered dreams and, sometimes, death, and that the only certain way to avoid those consequences is to avoid the drugs.
If someone you care about needs prescription drugs - which many of us do at times - make sure they take them for a short period of time and as directed. And don't mix them with other drugs. If things go further than that, or already have, find a drug addiction treatment center where they can get help. And, whatever you do, don't assume that your kids are not the type to take drugs.
Gloria MacTaggart is a freelance writer that contributes articles on health.
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